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It sounds like maybe you didn't understand what Captivate does or what to expect from it. If you want to work with a variety of different sized background images you can maybe snap the backgrounds and save them to a separate folder, then create what is called an "Image Project" in Captivate. You will find the option on the Options > Recording Options main dialog.
An alternative might be to create your project in Flash, since you don't seem to need any of the features provided by using Captivate in the normal manner - would that work for you?
In reply to your specific question about how to get your screen capture into another program for editing ... just finish your captures and during the Editing phase, right-click the desired background and from the context menu select "Copy Background" (or words to that effect - I don't have Captivate version 1 on any machine so don't remember the wording). What that does is copy the bitmap background image to the Windows clipboard ...
... then you can open your favorite image editing application (Photoshop, etc.) create a "New" document, then use the Edit menu to "Paste" from the clipboard to the new image and do your editing. You can bring it back into Captivate by reversing the process, or by saving your changes in the image, then re-opening Captivate and using the "Insert" menu to insert a new image, then navigate to your saved image to insert it.
Having said all that, the best advice I can give you is to watch the 6 or 7 tutorial movies that are available on Captivate's main user-interface. I really think you would be best served by spending some time to learn what Captivate is designed to do - or not to do. It seems to me is is not designed to do whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.
Welcome to the Captivate User's Community, and please let us know what we can help with during your learning process.
I have created simply tutorials to explain how to use our computer system at work by using Captivate so i do know the very basics. Maybe there is a better tool for what I want to do. I'll describe the project and you can tell me what you think. I also have flash 8 but haven't started using it yet. I'd love to get into it though if that is better for this project. Now I am working on a project where I need to record images of things and then add some explanation text and audio. It will not really be like a movie. some slides will be a movie for 10 seconds or so maybe to add some effects or somthing but then pause until the user hits the next button. most slides will just pause as soon as it starts until the user hits the next button. I do want to add captions, highlight boxes and maybe add some links to a website or 2. All my images are different sizes though so captivate is recording my screen and tool bars behind the image so that is why i asked the original question. What tools would you suggest.
BTW, thanks. I think you answered my direct question. Problem is I don't have photoshop or any similar program. Are there any good free ones you know of?
Not sure if Larry is around today. If so, perhaps he will pop in and offer more. Here is a link to an open source (free) image utility that many swear by. It's called GNU Image Manipulation Program and is otherwise known as "GIMP". Click here to visit the site where you may download it.
Additionally, you have an image editing utility built into Windows itself. It's called Microsoft Paint. You should find it on your Start menu. Or by clicking Start > Run... and typing mspaint into the Run dialog and pressing Enter.
I too welcome you to our community... Rick